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Manager: A. O. Andersen Shipping Co., A/S, Oslo
Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1936.
Captain: Hans Hansen
Her voyages are listed on this original document from the National Archives of Norway.
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
According to the archive document, Beduin was on her way from Abadan to Melbourne when war broke out in Norway on Apr. 9-1940.
Later that year, she's listed in Convoy SL 50, which departed Freetown on Oct. 3-1940 and arrived Liverpool on the 26th. The Norwegian Maridal, Salamis and Vivi are also named. The following month we find her, together with Belray, Carmelfjell, Einar Jarl, Maridal and Sveve, in Convoy OB 241, which left Liverpool on Nov. 9 and dispersed on the 14th. Her destination on that occasion is given as Baton Rouge; from the archive document, we learn that she arrived Mobile on Dec. 1. Ref. external links provided within the Voyage Record for more on these convoys (another section of the same site also has Emma Bakke in the OB convoy, but not Belray and Einar Jarl).
At the end of that month, she joined the Bermuda portion of the Halifax-U.K. Convoy HX 100, bound for Glasgow with aviation spirits and diesel oil - see also this report on passage. According to the archive document, she arrived Clyde on Jan. 16-1941. Along with Buesten, Kristianiafjord, Madrono, Norefjord, President de Vogue and Solsten, she's subsequently listed in Convoy OB 279, which originated in Liverpool on Jan. 28-1941 and dispersed on Febr. 2. This time, she was bound for Aruba, arriving there on Febr. 17. Again, see the external link provided in the table above.
Already the next day, she proceeded to Bermuda, with arrival there Febr. 23, joining the Bermuda portion of Convoy HX 112 on the 27th in order to return to the U.K. - as can be seen below, this proved to be her last voyage.
More information on all the other Norwegian ships mentioned here can be found via the alphabet index at the bottom of this page, or go to the Master Ship Index.
Beduin was on a voyage Aruba/Bermuda for Clyde with a cargo of about 11 000 tons petrol and was torpedoed on March 16-1941 when inward bound in Convoy HX 112, escorted by 5 destroyers and 2 corvettes commanded by Commander MacIntyre in HMS Walker. As already mentioned, the Bermuda portion of this convoy, in which Beduin sailed, had left Bermuda on Febr. 27, while the main portion left Halifax on March 1. 5 U-boats had assembled for an attack near Lousy Bank in position 61N 13W, among them were the well known U-100 (Schepke) and U-99 (Kretschmer).
U-99 hit Beduin after having torpedoed another Norwegian ship, M/T Ferm (follow the link for details). The torpedo struck a little abaft the pump room, and the explosion was so powerful that the deck plates were blown up so that they stood up in the air, and the fore and aft gangway disappeared. All the lights in the engine room and all over the ship went out and the engine stopped (the dynamo and auxiliary motor worked continuously).
According to the captain's statements at the maritime hearings he was on the bridge with the 3rd mate as well as 3 crew. The rest of the crew had been ordered to stay close to the lifeboats, due to previous attacks on the convoy. The 5 on the bridge, as well as the 2nd mate who came up from his cabin immediately proceeded to lower the motorboat. The boat was partly filled with water, having remained hanging by the after tackle for a moment, and when the captain shouted to the 2 who had launched the boat that they should lower themselves down by the tackles, he received no reply, and it was believed that they may have been overcome by gas which was pouring out from the ship. Those who were in the boat also started to feel the effects of this gas, so they rowed away as quickly as they could towards windward in an effort to get away from it.
I get the understanding there were 2 more lifeboats on the water. The 1st mate, who was in the messroom on the after deck at the time of the attack, states he went out at once, and finding the boat crew ready the boat was lowered level with the poop deck. Since the ship had not caught on fire he initially thought the explosion had occurred in the engine room, so he went down on the intermediate platform to find out if this was so, and to see if there were any men left in the engine room. Seeing that everything was in order there, he returned to the lifeboat and asked everyone to wait for him until he had investigated amidships, knowing that the captain and some others had been there. Having gotten as far as the fore and aft gangway, the people in the lifeboat informed him that the captain and the others had gotten the motorboat on the water. Seeing the deck plates standing up about 20 ft in the way he was able to determine that the explosion had probably occurred between tank 14 and the pump room. Realizing that the crew in the boat was starting to feel the effects of the gas, the boat was lowered and rowed away up to windward. However, the 2 who lowered it did not get into the boat, and when the men in the boat shouted to them, they got no reply, so it was belived that they too had been overcome by the gas.
The boat had been sprayed with benzin but was cleaned as well as possible. While they were rowing away they observed that their ship had started to break in 2. They rowed for about an hour, and during this time they were in contact with another boat with the help of signal lights, and it was instructed to remain in the vicinity. They were also in contact with the captain's boat which was still lying in the benzine, having been unable to start the motor, so they went over to assist. They later had contact with the other boat twice, before it disappeared. This must have been the boat whose 10 occupants were put ashore at Fleetwood on March 23* by the Icelandic ship Hilmir, according to "Nortraships flåte". This source states that most of the survivors were probably picked up by escort vessels, but this appears to be incorrect. Also, there were 30 survivors, so there must have been only 9 in this boat(?), since the number in the captains boat is given as 21 (unless there were 20 in the latter boat?).
According to the captain's statements they got a painter on board the 1st mate's boat and the captain decided that both boats should remain in the area until daylight in order to see how their ship fared. He states that they too saw light signals from another boat, and adds that in spite of the 1st mate's instructions for it to stay in the vicinity it disappared in the darkness. At daylight both boats rowed down to the wreck, finding that it had broken in 2. They went up under the after part of the ship and shouted but there was no reply. **The forward part was standing almost vertically and had drifted about 1 mile away from the after part. They set sail and came up under the forward part, but found no sign of life there either. As they could not get the motor started they transferred to the 1st mate's lifeboat, having taken water tanks and bread tanks out of the motorboat, then set sail in an eastward direction. About 2 days later they caught sight of a ship, and in the evening of March 18 they were picked up by the fishing trawler River Ayr (A 337) of Aberdeen and landed at Thorshavn late the next evening, March. 19.
In the lifeboat were 21 men, namely the captain, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd mates, the 2nd engineer and 16 others. The 2nd engineer was taken to a hospital having injured 2 of his fingers, others had sustained burns from the gasolene and were also treated at the hospital. 4 of the deck crew had been killed.
The maritime hearings were held in Thorshavn on March 22-1941 with the captain, 1st Mate Amundsen, Assistant (engine room) Ellingsen, and Ordinary Seaman Ravn appearing.
Both U-boats were sunk in this battle, all on board U-99 except 3 were rescued by HMS Walker. Kretschmer spent the rest of the war as a prisoner in Canada, while Schepke went down with U-100, sunk by the destroyers Walker and Vanoc. Both Schepke's legs are said to have been amputated at his thighs when he was pressed up against the periscope by Vanoc. See also the external links below.
Other ships sunk in this convoy were the British Venetia (no casualties), the Canadian J. B. White (2 died), and the Swedish Korshamn (26 died). The British Erodona and Franche Comte were damaged. Again, see my page about Convoy HX 112, as well as the external website that I've linked to at the end of this page for more information on these attacks.
* Ole Lorentzen had previously survived the sinking of Hird, but died when Havtor was torpedoed on June 11-1941. He was awarded St. Olavsmedaljen and Krigsmedaljen posthumously (medals are described and pictured on my Medals page).
Related external links:
Otto Kretschmer's escape plan - Fascinating story about the plan to escape from Camp 30, Bowmanville, Ontario. The plan, devised by Kretschmer also involved Hans Ey of U-433, Horst Elfe of U-93, and Joachim von Knebel-Döberitz. (From the Quebec Naval Museum).
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Volume I (Norwegian Maritime Museum), and misc. others for cross checking info. as named within above text - ref My sources.